Pearson was charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant woman and domestic battery by strangulation, both felonies, according to an arrest report from the Hillsborough County sheriff's office.
He also was charged with obstructing or opposing an officer without force, a misdemeanor, and was being held without bail in a Tampa jail.
It was not immediately known if Pearson had an attorney. He is scheduled to appear before a judge Sunday.
Pearson, who is in his fourth NFL season, formerly played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He led the Buccaneers in special teams tackles in 2007, with 21, and appeared in all 16 games in 2007.
Pearson signed with the Lions as a restricted free agent in March.
"We are aware of the situation with Kalvin Pearson, and we are gathering information," the Lions said in a statement. "We will have no further comment today."